Instructions in this section of Leviticus are written specifically to Aaron’s sons or the priestly line of the Israelite nation, so they are of no concern to us today, right? Um…think again!!!
The following guide is a resource for your personal time of abiding with the Lord and for your Community Group when you meet. It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table. At the end of this guide is a resource from www.esv.org to help with our study of Leviticus.
VISION + STORIES
Take time to connect and be reminded of our shared vision- We are a people abiding in Christ, to join His vision of transformation in our homes, neighborhoods, work places and city.
+ WHAT is one way you see the Lord working in the lives of those you are walking with to discover the gospel?
SING + PRAY
Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community. A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).
DISCOVER [ Leviticus 21:17-22:33 ] In Large group
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)
17 “Speak to Aaron, saying, None of your offspring throughout their generations who has a blemish may approach to offer the bread of his God.18 For no one who has a blemish shall draw near, a man blind or lame, or one who has a mutilated face or a limb too long,19 or a man who has an injured foot or an injured hand,20 or a hunchback or a dwarf or a man with a defect in his sight or an itching disease or scabs or crushed testicles.21 No man of the offspring of Aaron the priest who has a blemish shall come near to offer the Lord's food offerings; since he has a blemish, he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God.22 He may eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy and of the holy things,23 but he shall not go through the veil or approach the altar, because he has a blemish, that he may not profane my sanctuaries, for I am the Lord who sanctifies them.”24 So Moses spoke to Aaron and to his sons and to all the people of Israel.
+ Why would God not allow a priest who had a physical issue over which he had no control to serve Him in the Tabernacle? Does this seem “fair” to you? How would you defend this to a skeptic of God’s Word?
22 And the Lordspoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to Aaron and his sons so that they abstain from the holy things of the people of Israel, which they dedicate to me, so that they do not profane my holy name: I am the Lord.3 Say to them, ‘If any one of all your offspring throughout your generations approaches the holy things that the people of Israel dedicate to the Lord, while he has an uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from my presence: I am the Lord.4 None of the offspring of Aaron who has a leprous disease or a discharge may eat of the holy things until he is clean. Whoever touches anything that is unclean through contact with the dead or a man who has had an emission of semen,5 and whoever touches a swarming thing by which he may be made unclean or a person from whom he may take uncleanness, whatever his uncleanness may be—6 the person who touches such a thing shall be unclean until the evening and shall not eat of the holy things unless he has bathed his body in water.7 When the sun goes down he shall be clean, and afterward he may eat of the holy things, because they are his food.8 He shall not eat what dies of itself or is torn by beasts, and so make himself unclean by it: I am the Lord.’9 They shall therefore keep my charge, lest they bear sin for it and die thereby when they profane it: I am the Lord who sanctifies them.10 “A lay person shall not eat of a holy thing; no foreign guest of the priest or hired worker shall eat of a holy thing,11 but if a priest buys a slave ]as his property for money, the slave may eat of it, and anyone born in his house may eat of his food.12 If a priest's daughter marries a layman, she shall not eat of the contribution of the holy things.13 But if a priest's daughter is widowed or divorced and has no child and returns to her father's house, as in her youth, she may eat of her father's food; yet no lay person shall eat of it.14 And if anyone eats of a holy thing unintentionally, he shall add the fifth of its value to it and give the holy thing to the priest.15 They shall not profane the holy things of the people of Israel, which they contribute to the Lord,16 and so cause them to bear iniquity and guilt, by eating their holy things: for I am the Lord who sanctifies them.”
17 And the Lordspoke to Moses, saying,18 “Speak to Aaron and his sons and all the people of Israel and say to them, When any one of the house of Israel or of the sojourners in Israel presents a burnt offering as his offering, for any of their vows or freewill offerings that they offer to the Lord,19 if it is to be accepted for you it shall be a male without blemish, of the bulls or the sheep or the goats.20 You shall not offer anything that has a blemish, for it will not be acceptable for you.21 And when anyone offers a sacrifice of peace offerings to the Lordto fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering from the herd or from the flock, to be accepted it must be perfect; there shall be no blemish in it.22 Animals blind or disabled or mutilated or having a discharge or an itch or scabs you shall not offer to the Lordor give them to the Lordas a food offering on the altar.23 You may present a bull or a lamb that has a part too long or too short for a freewill offering, but for a vow offering it cannot be accepted.24 Any animal that has its testicles bruised or crushed or torn or cut you shall not offer to the Lord; you shall not do it within your land,25 neither shall you offer as the bread of your God any such animals gotten from a foreigner. Since there is a blemish in them, because of their mutilation, they will not be accepted for you.”
26 And the Lordspoke to Moses, saying,27 “When an ox or sheep or goat is born, it shall remain seven days with its mother, and from the eighth day on it shall be acceptable as a food offering to the Lord.28 But you shall not kill an ox or a sheep and her young in one day.29 And when you sacrifice a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Lord, you shall sacrifice it so that you may be accepted.30 It shall be eaten on the same day; you shall leave none of it until morning: I am the Lord.
31 “So you shall keep my commandments and do them: I am the Lord.32 And you shall not profane my holy name, that I may be sanctified among the people of Israel. I am the Lordwho sanctifies you,33 who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the Lord.”
+ What are the “holy things” spoken of here in this chapter? Why are they holy?
+ How would you define the word “profane”?
+ The phrase “I am the Lord” is stated many times throughout Leviticus. What did it mean to the Israelites at this point in history? What does it mean to us today?
PROCESS (In Breakouts of 2-3’s, guys/girls)
+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time? (Below are a couple of ideas to help prompt responses if needed)
It seems like every chapter of Leviticus ends with a call for the Israelites to keep the commands God gave to Moses. They were to do this because God was their Redeemer who had delivered them from bondage and slavery in Egypt, but mostly because He is Holy and is due reverential obedience. This call to obedience; to live a holy life, is the same for followers of Jesus today. It is to be done knowing we’ve been redeemed from eternal separation from God by the death of His only begotten Son, who paid the penalty for our sin and bestowed upon us His righteousness. How can we not show our love for Him by obeying His commands?
+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., spend time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)
STUDY GUIDE ( ESV STUDY BIBLE - WWW.ESV.ORG )
+ Lev. 21:16–20 No priest who has a blemish may approach to offer sacrifices. The same requirement applies to sacrificial animals. Both the priest and the animal are to exemplify holiness and completeness (see 22:17–25).
+ Lev. 21:21–24 for I am the LORD who sanctifies them (v. 23c). Although “them” might refer to the priests with physical defects (vv. 17–23a), more likely it refers to my sanctuaries (v. 23b). While “my sanctuaries” matches the plural “them,” the references to the priests with physical defects are all singular.
+ Lev. 22:1–3 The heavy responsibility demanded of the priests is seen in the phrase cut off from my presence, which is more severe than the ordinary formula “cut off from his people” (19:8; 20:5) which describes the punishment for laymen. The priest is exiled from the service in the tabernacle (that is, in God’s presence).
+ Lev. 22:4–9 For the background of these rules, see 11:1–47; 13:1–59; 15:1–33; and 17:15. Contracting uncleanness is certain, but when purification has been made, one can eat the holy offering. If purification is not made and the offering is eaten, the offender gives up his life.
+ Lev. 22:10–16 Priests and their families survived on food from donations to the tabernacle. The priests are to guard the holy food so that those not authorized to do so may not eat of it (vv. 15–16).
+ Lev. 22:17–25 Animals with defects are considered unholy and incomplete, and are not to be offered to the Holy One.
+ Lev. 22:29–30 A thanksgiving sacrifice was a type of peace offering (compare 7:15). on the same day (see also 7:15). This stricter rule could suggest that this offering was especially sacred or important.